We may go to museums to see art, but how often do we stop to appreciate the beauty of the buildings that house these works? In the series of posters below, illustrator André Chiote reminds us that many of the world’s great museums are also architectural marvels, celebrating everything from Zaha Hadid’s Riverside Museum to Oscar Niemeyer’s Whitney. Click through for some of our favorite posters from the collection, which we discovered via Fubiz, and visit Chiote’s website to see more of his work. … Read More
As science fiction author and prophet of the space age Arthur C. Clarke once said, “How inappropriate to call this planet Earth when it is quite clearly Ocean.” Society’s stewardship of all things aquatic comes in the form of an exceedingly fascinating, niche building typology: the aquarium. After seeing the first photos of an absolutely stunning design in Copenhagen inspired by a swirling whirlpool, we wanted to explore what other wondrous, underwater experiences await around the world. From the largest aquarium in Europe to Pritzker Prize-winning architect Zaha Hadid’s breathtaking proposal inspired by a starfish, click through to check out some of the most awe-inspiring aquariums of today, including three in progress projects to get you excited about what’s in store for the future of maritime design. … Read More
As W.H. Auden, one of the most influential poets of the 20th century, once said, “One cannot walk through an assembly factory and not feel that one is in Hell.” These days you’re more likely to find the cavernous concrete foundries of a bygone industrial era chock full of Eames chairs and ironic art. As more and more factories are converted into lofts or carefully-curated creative office spaces, we got to wondering if functioning factories are actually still being built. Or, have we evolved entirely beyond our messy manufacturing heyday? Well dear readers, we’re here to report that the modern factory is alive and well, and thanks to some incredibly innovative designers, it’s seeing a renaissance all its own. From Mexico’s playful Nestlé laboratories that are Wonka’s chocolate factory come to life to an imaginative masking tape factory in Japan, click through to check out some of the most beautiful factories in operation today. … Read More
The 2012 London Summer Olympics kicks off today, and all eyes are on the capital of tea and toast for Oscar-winning director Danny Boyle’s three-hour opening ceremony extravaganza that includes, according to our friends at HuffPost, Paul McCartney, cricket, and sheep. After reading a fascinating article about the Architecture Olympics, explaining International Olympic Committee founder Baron de Coubertin’s vision for “a global event that incorporated not only athletics but also art competitions, giving equal importance to works of architecture, painting, music, sculpture and literature,” we felt compelled to take an in-depth look at the stunning design afforded by the biannual competition.
Starting with a look at the most stunning stadiums constructed for this year’s events, and then going back in time to the striking simplicity of the first stadium in Greece, click through to check out the most beautiful Olympic architecture ever built. Then, nominate your favorite stadium in the comments below! … Read More
The shortlist for the prestigious annual RIBA Stirling Prize — which is like the Booker or the Turner, but for British architects — has been announced, and as Rowan Moore at the Guardian points out, the nominated buildings — which include a theatre, a stadium, a cancer center, a laboratory, a bank office, and an art gallery — are all “works that avoid the sugar rush of instant spectacle and which, by holding back a little, help you better experience the arts, drama, landscape or sport in and around them.” Which is not to say that they’re boring, but might explain why Zaha Hadid’s over-the-top, winged Olympic Aquatic Centre didn’t make the cut even though she’s taken home the prize for the past two years running. If you’re in the mood for some lovely (if understated!) visuals, click through to peep the six buildings that will be duking it out come October 13th for bragging rights and a £20,000 purse. … Read More
The idea for Mary Shelley’s most famous novel, Frankenstein, came to her in a dream while summering in Switzerland with the notoriously melancholy poet, Lord Byron, and the manic creator of the vampire genre of fantasy fiction, John Polidori. As you do when you’re bored, conflicted writers obsessed with the occult on holiday, you hold a competition to see who can come up with the best horror story. Mary’s tall tale about a hideous creature created by a science experiment gone awry clearly won.
We’re all for trial and error, and as our favorite visionary architect and staunch advocate of pushing the limits, Bucky Fuller, said “there is no such thing as a failed experiment, only experiments with unexpected outcomes.” A boundary pushing bout of genius is the hope when you’re a castle-builder looking to change the world, but there’s a fine line between botched and brilliant (ahem, Lady Gaga). Click through to check out twelve extreme experimental designs that we think are too brave for their own good. Let us know in the comments if you agree, then tell us what modern buildings you think should have been left on the design world’s equivalent of the cutting room floor. … Read More
Albert Pike, poet, Freemason, and Confederate man about town, astutely commented that “one man is equivalent to all Creation. One man is a World in miniature.” If one man represents the world than the roof over his head, and a mini version of that roof surely has some fundamental universal importance.
We love sensible and profound quotes as much as we love micro architecture, and in discovering Pritzker Prize winner Peter Zumthor’s strangely compelling large-scale models, we’ve found a new means to satisfy our obsession with little buildings. A study in micro representation, the model, as Zumthor explains, is the only way to consider the “atmosphere” of a space. Or, what we like to think of as the best way to design good vibes.
We invite you to get out some construction paper, a pair of scissors, and that old crafty standby, Elmer’s Glue, and be inspired to build your own mini proverbial universe. Made out of wacky materials like organic milk cartons, pepto bismol pink styrofoam and paper dinner napkins, click through to check out our roundup of remarkable models made by some of the world’s most important architects. … Read More
We love collisions of culture as much as the next guy, but we have to admit to having a soft spot for those involving provocative hip-hop artists and legendary New York cultural institutions. A few months ago the most venerable of concert halls welcomed Jay-Z’s charity performance in what The New York Times hailed as “the highest-profile hip-hop show ever at Carnegie Hall.” Decked out in a white satin Tom Ford dinner jacket adorned with a diamond Cartier lapel pin, Jay-Z defined blinged-out class. As the Times’ music reviewer went on to write, “more than any of his peers Jay-Z understands the cultural politics of infiltration, and as he gets older, he has made it more the subject of his music.”
We were reminded that bling has transcended the world of rap, even sneaking in to the bourgeois world of architecture, when we stumbled across the whimsical large-scale sequin architectural installations of Theresa Himmer. We couldn’t help but wonder what other sparkling structures might exist in the world. From a blue crystal encrusted urban revitalization project in London to Margiela’s shimmering Beverly Hills boutique to a small gold glitter covered house in the Egyptian desert, click through to check out some of the best building bling out there (and, yes, we will be taking credit for coining that phrase). … Read More
Since launching back in 2000 with Zaha Hadid, the Serpentine Gallery’s annual pavilion series has featured work by some of the most noted architects in the industry — from Oscar Niemeyer to SANAA. Today it was announced that controversial Chinese artist Ai Weiwei will be reteaming with the Swiss architectural firm Herzog &… Read More
If you’re the kind of person who can’t help but swoon when you come across a smartly-conceived building — or who bristles when confronted with a shoddy structure that resembles nothing more than a great, big box of ugly — then you’re going to love this 3D typography series by UK-based graphic designer Christopher Labrooy, which pays homage to the work of famed architects like Zaha Hadid, Frank Gehry, Toyo Ito, and Oscar Niemeyer. Click through to see what he’s come up with so far, and leave your nominations for who he should tackle next in the comments. We’re thinking Renzo Piano. Or Steven Holl. Or SANAA. Or Jeanne Gang. Really, he can’t go wrong! … Read More